Teacher Tad Cummins’ developing relationship with Tennessee teen Video

Transcript for Teacher Tad Cummins’ developing relationship with Tennessee teen

It’s the dimple of the universe. Reporter: Tucked in the lush green of these rolling hills, you’ll find a post office, gas station and not much else. The school’s always been the heartbeat of the community. Reporter: Culleoka unit school, a sprawling two-story complex, which will become the epicenter of a seismic scandal. It’s known for its drill team and the musical theater troupe. ??? Boogie fever ??? Reporter: But it’s drama that quickly circles the new girl in class, 15-year-old Elizabeth Thomas. Those kids are from a small community and any outsider becomes a target immediately. Reporter: She had been home schooled her whole life. She was somewhat of a tomboy, she played really rough. She could switch to being really nice and sweet. Reporter: Paige Griffith is a kind of surrogate mom to Elizabeth. Her daughter Erin is Elizabeth’s best friend. She’d come over to my house and we would talk and watch TV, and eat junk food, and we just hung out together. Reporter: That’s Erin and Elizabeth play-fighting in the back of a car. The pair loved to goof around. She was always a social butterfly, been described to some people as being a diva. Reporter: For the first time her sister Sarah shows me Elizabeth’s room. Now a kind of museum of an adolescent caught between two ages. That’s her Xbox? On the one hand, the teen who bought herself an Xbox with money from her afterschool job. She just stayed up playing games. She was obsessed with guns and stuff. Reporter: On the other, a child. She made this. Reporter: Still enchanted by princesses and ponies. Was she pretty excited about this? She loved the bed covers that she just got. Reporter: And still clinging to her security blanket. This is her baby blanket. She takes it to school with her. Reporter: Like everyday? Yes. She has it in her backpack and cuddles with it. Reporter: She cuddles with it because the smiles in home movies like this…

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